Monday, 27 February 2012

Overreactions and Cipralex

I was without cipralex for part of the day on Sunday. I cant describe how that felt. it was quite scary. I was ashamed and hated myself for needing it, and could feel myself slipping away emotionally. I was terrified of the fact that I didn't have it. I was almost in a panicked state. Evidently I have come to depend on it, and I hate that. It's scary to start the journey to being okay with depending on a medication to make you happy (especially for me who is so against medication) and then being told that you can't have it. It was an awful day for so many reasons.

But, I wanted to review a blog article I read. This one is from Bipolar Burble whose link is on my blog list to the right. There is an article about emotional overreaction and depression . I resonated so much with this article. Andrea can attest to it. It so hard to explain to someone who isn't going through it, who doesn't know what it's like to have one minor thing cause your whole self worth to be called into question.

That's what it's like for me. I can be having a decent or even good day - and then " Suddenly something bad happening is about you. It’s your fault. It proves that you are dysfunctional. It proves that no one loves you now or ever will in the future.

The article suggests some things to try:
"Here are some suggestions for avoiding an emotional overreaction thanks to depression:
-Remember that life events neither confirm nor deny who you are. They aren’t about you.
-Nip overreaction in the bud – it’s easier to survive a breeze than a hurricane.
-Use your self-talk. Talk to yourself as if you were talking to someone else who this happened to.
-Do a reality check. Don’t know if you’re having a reasonable reaction? Check with others.
-Do something else – pass by the event by moving on to something you want to do, maybe something that engages others who can affirm who you are.
"

I don't like these. With the exception of a reality check. I don't really know what will work for me. But I know Andrea likes to ask whats wrong, and then I tell her (even if its something small and silly), and sometimes her reaction makes it worse. She will call it stupid, or make it seem like I am overreacting - which I already know I am. I know its stupid - but that doesn't change the fact that I feel it.

I don't know. Maybe for me, I need some outward affirmation that yes this seems horrible, and yes it feels like the end of the world. But, it will pass, and I am still loved. I know I need to know these things on my own; I'll get there one day. I'm just not there yet. And I still overreact - and I still feel the world is against me and I am unlovable sometimes.

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Cipralex

So..the new medication I am on is called Cipralex. It is a similar medication to effexor, in that it is an SSRI. It can very easily cause mania in bipolar patients, but that is what the divalproex is for.

Wiggers had learned about cipralex at a conference discussing mental health disorders. Apparently, it is a great anti-depressant for bipolar. I haven't been able to find any real studies to support what makes it more effective than anything else.

It has a few side effects that I have noticed already. The sexual side effects are stronger, or maybe because it is effecting my brain in a new way I have to learn to over come them again - regardless orgasm is harder to come by. I also have a particularly embarrassing side effect that I am not quite ready to discuss yet. I am quite embarrassed by it, and hope that it, too, passes shortly. I also notice that its affects are stronger. It has definitely helped me get out of my depressive thinking, and stopped my from being generally sad, however, I can now notice when I don't take it. The depressive thoughts creep back in, and I start feeling down. I hate that. I don't know how to remember to take it. But at least its working.

I'm even feeling like I am at a place where I can start exercising again. I am trying to alternate between speed walking the dogs one night and doing a work out the next. It's hard. I don't get home until so late, and then by the time that's done it's at least 8:00p. It doesn't leave much down time. And by the time I am at a place where I can knit - because I need some sitting time after exercising, it's time for bed. And then I have to get up and pick out my clothes, make a healthy lunch, clean the cat box, etc etc etc. It's a very exhausting life sometimes.

Friday, 10 February 2012

I am vs. I have

Obviously Wiggers didn't keep me. He did however change my antidepressant. I'll update on that when I actually get the prescription and start feeling affects of it.

So..people keep comparing mental health issues with diabetes. When someone is diabetic they say, "I Have diabetes." As if it is something external, or something beyond their control. Something they must deal with that does not make them who they are. When someone with diabetes uses the term "I am" the noun changes. Its not "I am diabetes", it's "I am diabetic." That simple change in the noun makes a world of difference. Diabetes is a disease, it is a flaw. Being diabetic is a result of something outside of you. Its like saying I have a disease (diabetes) and the effect it has on me gives me this characteristic (diabetic). It's not who you are, it doesn't make you - its just the affect from something outside of you. Something you have no control over.

Bi-polar is different. Most commonly people with this illness say, "I am bipolar. Occasionally it is "I have bipolar" - but notice that with either verb Am vs. Have the noun doesn't change. If one has bipolar, one is bipolar. There is no way to modify that noun. It's a small grammatical thing, with big ramifications.

Having something implies that you can get rid of it, you can manage it, it is not you - you merely possess it; whether for the moment, forever etc. But at the root of it all it is not you, it is outside of you. Being something implies that it is within you - that there is nothing you can do. Yes you can manage it, but it is you. It makes part of who you are.

Maybe that's something about the illness itself though. With diabetes, it does not affect your personality, or your brain. It requires monitoring your body and adjusting your diet and lifestyle accordingly. With bipolar - it's literally in your head. It creates havoc on your moods, emotions, thought patterns. All of those things make up who you are. Your blood sugar levels do not make your personality. But your emotions and how you respond to situations do.

I guess that's part of the reason the comparison bothers me. I get what people are trying to say. Mental illness is no different, in the grand scheme of things, than physical illness. But it is - mental illness affects the mind. The mind is at the core of what makes us who we are. When we have an illness that affects the core of who we are - part of us does become that illness rather than just possessing that illness.

I am bipolar. It does make up who I am. How much of who I am? I don't know. Have I accepted that? Not one bit. It's hard to accept that you are something you have no control over and never wanted to be. I never wanted to break my ankles, my knee, or have endometriosis. But those didn't make up who I am. I had those issues - but I wasn't those issues. I both have and am bipolar and there are no two ways about it.

Maybe this is the first step towards acceptance. IDK...but it was on my mind today.

Thursday, 9 February 2012

I don't think I am coming home today

I feel like I`m going to puke.

Sad songs on youtube - nothing is quite right. Adele comes close.

I am done.

I think a part of her hates me and resents me.

My kids deserve such a better mom than I can be.

I can`t work today.

I can`t get a handle on myself or my thoughts or my feelings. I am starting to wonder if I ever will. I`m destroying Andrea. I`m sabotaging myself. And I can`t stop it.

I see Wiggers today. I am terrified he will commit me. I am terrified he won`t.

I honestly can`t do this anymore. I am a prisoner in my own head.

I long for the days before I went crazy. I no longer can recall what control over myself feels like.

I can`t stop eating. I wish I could. I die a little inside with every bite of food. I hate what its doing to my body, I hate how it makes me feel.

I hate myself. I want to be somebody else.

I want to walk forever, I want to hole up all by myself and never move.

I want my sanity back.

I used to be the strong one. I used to have everything under control. I used to be thin. I used to be happy. I used to be able to make her laugh. I used to be able to cuddle with them forever. I used to have high hopes for my future. I used to..I used to..I USED TO!

I`m falling apart. I`ve already fallen. I`ve used all the resources I have.

I feel lost. I feel trapped. I feel dead. I feel hopeless.

I`ve let everyone down.

Monday, 6 February 2012

OH!

The other thing I wanted to talk about.

I've been binging like crazy lately. I just want to eat all the time. I constantly feel hungry, and constantly want to be eating. I can't get a hold on it. Food tastes so good.

I'm worried about the weight gain thing, and how that will affect my already bad self image.

I'm also wondering why I am doing it. Am I trying to fill myself with something? Am I craving control? I don't know the answer to either of those things.

All I know is I want to eat. I am out of food at work, and its 12:30p, Dinner isn't for like five hours.

I want to eat all the food!

No Title

So much to say. I have been wanting to write for about 3 days, but never had a chance to do it. So I will try to remember my list.

I am just beginning I think to come to terms with being bipolar. I am actually able to say out loud that I have bipolar II. I was told this back in November - but I couldn't handle it then. I am going through the stages of grief - what am I grieving? I am not sure, maybe the loss of a normal life, or normal functioning. I know there is nothing in the world that is normal; but I have to accept that my head does not process incoming signals appropriately. I am at the anger stage. I am angry at my diagnosis. I am angry that I have to deal with this for the rest of my life. I am angry that there are things I have to be aware of (like drinking) and that I have to micro manage my thoughts to ensure I don't over react. I am angry. I am angry on Andrea's behalf who has to deal with me and this for the rest of her life. I am angry on my kids' behalf for all the times I haven't been in control of myself and taken it out on them. I am angry that my bio kids have a higher likelihood of having a mental illness.

This topic has come up before but I also feel incredibly trapped. When I am on the medication I am so trapped with how they make me feel. I can feel myself under a heavy blanket. I can feel whoever *I* am underneath how they are making me feel. When I am off my medication I can feel myself trapped by my irrationality. I am trapped underneath myself. The me, whoever the hell that is, can't come out. I feel so lost, so I survive. I go to work, I come home, I play with the kids as best I can - and it is only when the responsibilities are done that I allow myself to even feel how lost I am. And maybe that's why the evenings are so hard - because I realize just how trapped I really am.

I am in such an off state lately. The hypomania combined with the effexor withdrawal was really messing with me. I was hallucinating an alternate realty, I couldn't sleep, I was having multiple vision (not double...multiple), I was having the effexor shocks. My moods were (are still) up and down at a moments notice. I was debilitated in the car and on the bathroom floor (multiple times) by sadness. I made plans to kill myself. It has been an insane weekend.

Andrea dreads the weekends :(

Friday, 3 February 2012

Yesterday and Today

Yesterday I was that crazy person you see downtown. I was walking around before being picked up by Craig to go home and I was talking to myself. I knew it looked and sounded crazy. And I knew I was "that girl" but I didn't care.

Today...today I am the person that you see on medication. The first person you think of when you think of someone on psychiatric medicine. My eyes are vacant, and they have trouble staying open. I am slouched, and limp. I ache, and even walking is an overwhelmingly tiring activity. I have cried out of shear exhaustion. I am emotionally raw, and yet I feel nothing.

No one noticed yesterday at work when I was manic. Today, my boss and my boss's boss have both asked me if I was on drugs. Tom knows a bit about my history, but Cliff doesn't. They joked that they hoped I had enough brain cells left to complete the day and get the work done that needed to get done.

I would love to go home and curl up in bed with comfy clothes, and a warm blanket. I long to sleep away the days. Nothing matters today. I long for yesterday where everything was bright and sparkly, where nothing mattered - but in a good way because I was unstoppable.

I struggle to remain conscious. To remain present. I fail.

Up and down. No neutral. Black and White. No grey.

I exist - kind of.